Enjoyed Summer by Staying Home

Many families were trying to find things to do this summer with their kids, myself included, but the one thing that I noticed we did more of was playing games. We played board games, card games, outside games in the pool and different sport games, and yes, the very popular video games. I would venture to say that our game playing was at it’s all time high this summer! Our favorite game was our Wii system. We got some exercise in, drove a little, battled each other in strength and knowledge and had a great time growing as a family. We enjoy playing video games at home because other than the cost of a game, or even a rental from our favorite Family Video, and yes, we even took a few games out from our local library, the cost involved was very minimal overall. I was contacted by Performance Designed Products to have our family test out a few products and see how they enhanced our game play. PDP is a top name in video game accessories and has several products to keep kids entertained all summer and winter long.

As you may know from playing your own Wii games, the batteries in the controllers are eaten up so quickly. I was changing the batteries at least two to three times a month! Yes, we used our system a lot! When I received the Energizer 4X Charge Station for Wii controllers (retails for approximately $39.99) I was thrilled and excited beyond words! I don’t have to keep a stock of AA batteries in my house at all times. It is the simplest product to use. All you do is plug it in, replace your regular batteries with included rechargeable batteries and slide the controllers in the openings. The red/orange light means it is charging and the green light means its fully charged. It is the best recharging station that I have ever used. The other charging station that we received was the 2X Induction Charge Station (retails for approximately $49.99). This was another amazing little product because our old charging station did not allow for us to keep our silicone sleeves on, making charging the controllers a royal pain in the butt because we had to keep putting on and taking off that sleeve. Again, all you need to do is plug it in and put the controllers in the base and watch the lights change colors from uncharged to charged!

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My family game night fun only just begun as the kids got to open their testable products. PDP has a NERF line of products and the kids were having a blast playing with those! I think I may need to get two more sets though! The kids have to take turns using the NERF products but I have found that the fighting over the product hasn’t even started! They are surprisingly taking what they learned in preschool about sharing and are putting it to action with these products. The NERF Sports Pack (retails for $19.99) comes with a fun add-ons for Baseball, Golf, and Tennis. Within the handle of the pack you place your Wii controller and then simply attach it to which ever sport accessory you are playing at the time. I thought it would be difficult for the kids to take apart and change but they seem to have figured it out better than me! Driving has never been more fun with NERF’s driving wheel (retails for $9.99). It is made using that special NERF foam, gosh I love that foam. I think that NERF foam is loved by all, really, who doesn’t love NERF foam products? Each kid gave their thumbs up to these sporty accessories!

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My son was over the moon with his Transformer DS kit (retails for $19.99). The kit comes with it’s armor, that wraps or encases the Nintendo DS to protect it from elements and those endless, “Oops, I dropped it” moments. It also comes with a “really cool” matching stylus. He takes his DS everywhere and I am so glad that he loves this kit. If you have a child who is constantly dropping their system, you really need to pick one of these up! It also comes in the “Bumblebee” style.

All in all the products that we (myself and my three children) tested exceeded our expectations. I loved the recharging systems while the kids loved the NERF Wii and Nintendo DS products. It was a happy medium and completely helped in making our game nights more fun! Just knowing we had controllers that worked was all I needed![

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Our fun doesn’t stop here though because we are going to be giving away some of the same products to one lucky reader! The details for this giveaway will be posted on Monday. Moms With A View and PDP will be giving away the following products: – NERF Racing Wheel, – NERF Sports Pack, – Transformers Stylus and Armor, and the – Energizer Induction Charger. Get your camera’s ready so you can share with us how you spent your summer!

Stride Rite – Early Walker Shoes – Product Review

monkey stride rite shoes

I had the honor to receive and review the early walker shoes by Stride Rite. When I received the product I had to admit I was a bit excited. The little monkey embroidered shoes were so adorable, I just couldn’t stand it! They put an instant smile on my face. They were so soft made with a tan and brown scotch guarded suede and are extremely flexible allowing for those little toes to wiggle freely in them. Stride Rite uses the Natural Motion Systemยฎ technology which allows for comfort, protection and flexibility all of which was spot on! If you have ever attempted to put shoes on a baby you know that the minute you touch their toes they flex them upward. With this shoe, the opening to the shoe was large enough for me to push his little toes down while I closed it shut. It also has a nice size tab on the back to help ease the shoe on and off. I gave these little shoes to my adorable nephew, AJ and I am told that he is wearing them and making great strides to becoming a professional walker!

These fantastic early walking shoes can be found online at Stride Rite or at any Stride Rite retailers. These adorable lil monkeys retail for $45.00 and come in sizes from 2-4.5 as well as medium to wide widths. It is truly a great investment to your child’s walking future! ๐Ÿ™‚

B nature – Product Review

Moms With a View had the opportunity to review our first organic clothing product. How exciting for us since we are all starting to become more aware of our earth and what is good for it and ultimately for us. I have been making small changes in my life with regards to going green, like taking less time in the shower, changing our light bulbs to eco-friendly ones, unplugging certain household items that are not used consistently and more. We are starting to put more emphasis on our clothing and beauty products so having this review come to us now couldn’t be better timing.

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When I opened up the 100% recycled package that contained the romper, I was hoping it was an adult size! It is made using 100% organic cotton and produced without the use of harmful pesticides. To my surprise, it was incredibly soft! It is a tagless romper so there are no itchy tags hanging to irritate the back of babies neck. The other positive thing I noticed is that the garments are made using a flatlock seem finish (seen below), again, helps protect the skin from itchy, annoying seems in tender areas such as the crotch and under the arms. All pieces are made using natural cotton colors which look great for either a boy or girl. Moms, you will love to have your little baby in B nature products. To wash, machine wash cold *don’t forget, use your eco-friendly laundry detergent*, do not bleach and tumble dry on low. B nature stands behind every stitch, every detail, every piece of clothing! Be sure to visit www.bnatureorganic.com to see all the wonderful options you have to dress your baby in eco-friendly products from the very beginning. When making your purchase, use the discount code of MWAV08 for an additional 10% off your order. Shop Organic, shop B nature. Now I am off to see if I can find any organic adult tee-shirts made using a flatlock seem finish! LOVE that!

For those that don’t know what flatlock seems are, here is a photo I took of the garment. You can see the seem is flush up to the actual fabric so there are no loose ends or ends sticking out.
B nature seem
Your baby will love the feel and you will love knowing that your baby is comfortable in his/her clothing!

Holiday Lights giving you problems? Here is a handy tool to help fix that!

Last year I purchased a 12 foot pre-lite tree on clearance. I didn’t get the tree until after the first of the year so the store could take it down and box it all up for me, ect… Well, of course I wasn’t going to take it out of the box and put it up to test it then, so I waited until I needed the tree actually up. It went up fine, no problems with putting it together. The problem occured when I plugged in the lights. Half of my tree didn’t work. Various strands here and there were out. I sat there and seriously cried because it was a pretty tree if only the lights would work. I was on the phone with my mom later that evening as the snow was falling outside. She told me about this ‘gun’ that she got after my aunt told her about it. She went on and on about how well it worked, blah blah blah so I had my husband gear up to head to Ace Hardware in the middle of the snow storm to find me that ‘gun’!

This is a handy tool has been a life saver…I mean, “Light Saver” the entire lighted holiday season. The “Light Keeper Pro” has a retail value of about $25.00, kind of pricey, but well worth the cost in my book. My husband came home waving the gun in the air as if he just saved the world, yes, my world. Excited to try it out, I took the tree apart and followed the directions on the package and was amazed beyond words that upon the 6th pull of the trigger, the lights mysteriously went on! OMG, yes they did!! As excited as I was, I went around my entire tree and in less than an hour I had all my lights working! Even those that I had in the ‘to throw away’ pile I was able to save!

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You can find this handy little tool at any fine retailer, from Menards, Hobby Lobby, Meijers, to your local Ace Hardware store. Visit their website and take a peek at the various locations and view a complete tutorial on how to work the little red gun! ๐Ÿ™‚ Light Keeper Pro Buy it and I can almost guarantee you will love it as much as I do! I am now actively seeking lights to fix! ๐Ÿ™‚

Little First Act – Product Review

We love these products! We have many First Act products in my house seeing that I have a 10 year old and 7 year old. We have recorders, harmonicas, and guitars. Next we will be looking into the First Act drum set! When I was made aware that First Act now has products for babies, I could not have been more pleased. My children are musically inclined children and to this day they love signing and making any kind of music and I personally feel music is very important for every child to learn and explore. With that being said, I was able to review the Crawl n’ Go Drum and the Shake n’ Stack Instruments.
Crawl n' Go DrumShake n' Stack Instruments
These products are colorful and are made for babies 6 months and older. When I say older, I mean that it even appeals to a 4 year old. The Crawl n’ Go Drum comes with tiny little instruments such as a tambourine, maraca and castanet! The really cool thing about it is that you can store the instruments in the shape sorter within the drum. As the baby crawls he can push the drum along creating beautiful music all the way across your kitchen floor. There are two modes that you can put the drum in, a drum mode and a song mode. There are bright colorful buttons that he can push to activate the music. This awesome toy focus’s on developmental milestones such as crawling, cause and effect, fine and gross motor skills.

The Shake n’ Stack Instruments are just as cool! The base of the Shake n’ Stack is the tambourine, is easy to hold and shake. The stack makes the noise of a maraca. You use the animals to stack up which is designed to teach baby eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills and stack play. Teach your baby how to shake his booty with this fantastic Little First Act Discovery toy!

Again, these products are made for babies 6 months and older and are available at toy stores near you, or you can go to Little First Act Discovery for more information.

Who is.. “Oscar the Pig”? Book in Review

Oscar the Pig by Megan Calhoun

Oscar the Pig – Mommy goes to work is a story written by Megan Calhoun about a little pig whose mommy is going back to work. Oscar is faced with a lot of feelings kids feel when they learn their mom isn’t going to be there for them. They are scared, worried, confused and Oscar learns first hand that staying with his nanny, Mrs. Tutu isn’t so bad after all. He realizes that his mommy will come back to him and still loves him very much. With Mrs. Tutu, Oscar goes on a wild adventure to China soon to discover that his mom is back already and giving him his much loved, “piggy kisses”! He shares his day with his mommy and is so excited that he just cannot wait to go on another adventure with Mrs. Tutu.

Oscar the Pig and Mommy

It is a fun book for preschool aged children as it deals with how children can cope with separation anxiety. As I read this story to my 4 year old and she loved using her imagination afterward and decided she wanted to go to France. Ok, so I let her! She is now Gigi from Paris and not Gianna from Plainfield!

To learn more about Oscar the Pig, you can visit his website at oscarthepig.com. This book is the first in a series which is being developed by Megan Calhoun. It is published by Silly String Media. Other successful ventures by Megan Calhoun include Twittermoms.com, a social networking and community site for moms. The gorgeous illustrations in the book were developed for Megan by an artist who lives in Thailand. The book is available at Amazon.com ($16-$18) or at OscarThePig.com.

Lighting up your holiday; Sylvania style

Did you know that Sylvania made more than just light bulbs? I had no clue. Sure, I’ve bought all different kinds of light bulbs over the years for the house, for flashlights, nightlights, indoor and outdoor lights and more but much to my surprise, they have an online store stocked with various lighting systems for the whole family! I am thrilled beyond words to share these products with you.

For starters, Sylvania is one of the oldest lighting suppliers in the world. They have built their reputation based on exceptional performance, high-quality products and strong customer service. All of which are key components for running a successful business with a huge consumer following. They quite frankly, listen to their consumers and take it to the next level by producing products that are not only wanted, but needed.

LED table runnerIf you are looking to wow your dinner guests this holiday season, look no further than the LED Table Runner! It is really a cool product. It is a fiber optic chargeable table runner that will last up to 10 hours on a single charge. It is white with black satin sides which makes for a very elegant feel. When you have your lights dimmed and your table runner on, it just glimmers with sparkly lights. I tried taking a picture with it on but my camera was messed up so it didn’t work the way I’d hoped. (Sorry!) It retails for $69.99 and for those that do quite a bit of entertaining, this is a definite must have for any holiday party.

EcolightOk, so this is by far my favorite product…EVER!!! You see, I have probably the smallest shower in the entire world. Not only is it small, but it is in a dark corner making it hard to see. Well, let me tell you, when I saw this product I knew it was going to be perfect in my shower! It is the Ecolight, water powered shower light! WHO KNEW!!!???? Yes, I yelled that because, really, who knew there was such a thing? It is so easy to install and it attaches to standard shower heads. You simply take off your shower head and put the Ecolight between the main pipe and shower head and the pressure from the water lights up the Ecolight. No batteries needed! Another cool feature is that it has a temperature guage that will glow blue for temperatures less than 78 degrees F, and it will glow red for temperatures above 105.8 degrees F. (Psst, Sylvania peeps, what would be really neat is if this also came with a timer that stops the flow of water after 3 minutes-making it even more eco-friendly, I’m just sayin.) It retails for $39.99 and it is my numero uno favorite product!

golden dragonThis next product works great in my house too because I’ve always wanted under the cabinet lights. I think they add that special relaxing ambiance that is really warm and inviting. The Golden Dragon is a bright white LED light that is easy to install and is brighter than the standard push-on lights. All you have to do is use the self adhesive mounting tape and place it anywhere you want extra lights. You can put it in your closet, under your closet, in your shed and really anywhere else you need a touch of extra lighting. I will be getting more to place in other areas of my home, namely my husband’s shed! It does require 3AA batteries, however the first three are supplied for you. The Golden Dragon retails for $16.99, and again, another great gift or stocking stuffer for the man in your life! ๐Ÿ˜‰

dot*it h2oThe next two products are a part of Sylvania’s DOT*it product line. We tried out the DOT*it H2O and it is a small bright white LED light that is waterproof! It runs off of 3 AAA batteries (first set is included) and has a nice touch on/off switch that doesn’t require a lot of pressure. You can adhere it with the included self adhesive or you can use the already attached magnet. Safe to use in the rain, so keep it in your car for emergencies, and you know what would be really neat? Put it in your bathtub! I bet the kids would have a blast taking a bath in the lighted bathtub! It’s good enough for a swimming pool, so why not a bathtub? The DOT*it H2O retails for $9.99.

litesticks_blue11The other product is the DOT*it Lite Stick. This product is a great one to have if you have children who like to play outside at night, or to just keep in the car or house, again for emergencies and more. It is a lighted stick, much like a flashlight, however this has a cord that can be worn around the neck or hooked on to something. It has three modes, off, constant and flashing. Flashing is great for the kids to play with, or for placing inside your pumpkin for a safe alternative to candles, and it is portable so you can take it anywhere you’d like. It has a retail price of $4.99 and makes great stocking stuffer gifts.

rocketshipThe next product is the PalPODzzz which is a portable rocket ship night light. I can’t say it enough but all these products are super cool! The PalPODzzz retails for $19.99 and makes a great night light for any child room. The base of the rocket ship is the charger. When it is on, the base glows. You can remove the ship itself and use it as a flashlight because it is portable. When fully charged it will last up to 4 hours, so if you ever experience power outages in your area, rest assure that the PalPODzzz will help to keep your children feeling safe and secure. If you have night time readers, or children that wake up in the middle of the night, this may also help to keep them feeling safe and secure knowing that they are not alone in the dark. My son who is 7, absolutely loves this night light and I can highly suggest that you too should get one for your child. They have another design which is a portable ladybug that I would love to get as well, one for each of my two girls.

So you see, if you thought Sylvania was just for light bulbs, think again! I have shown you and shared with you 6 excellent products that every home should not be without. Ranging in price from $9.99 to $69.99 there is a Sylvania gift for every person on your holiday shopping list. You can order these and many more products at Sylvania’s Online Store.